Visit the home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to hear a classical concert or see a show by rock, jazz or pop artists. Alberta’s Winspear Centre seats nearly 2,000 people, but it’s still recommended to book ahead because the venue is popular and the shows famous. Depending on the time of year and how long you plan to stay in Edmonton, there is usually a variety of musical styles to choose from.
The center was named after its main private sponsor, Dr. Francis Winspear. His generous contribution in 1988 marked the single largest private donation to a performing arts facility in Canadian history. The musical venue opened nearly a decade later with the Winspearation ’97 festival.
The building’s New York architects are internationally renowned for their acoustic expertise and they certainly succeeded here. Velour banners and curtains are used to control the reverberant characteristics, in order to adjust the acoustics for different performances. Notice the intricate and elegant architecture and detailed lighting in the concert hall.
You will be seated in the tall, rectangular chamber. It consists of four levels, wrapping around the sides and back of the hall. Nearly every level of seating in the music hall is wheelchair accessible.
Admire the valuable 21-ton (19-tonne) metal and wood Davis Concert Organ . It took two years to complete and stands three stories high at the back of the stage.
The Winspear Centre is located in Sir Winston Churchill Square, the arts district of downtown Edmonton. It’s close to the Art Gallery of Alberta, Citadel Theatre, Milner Library and City Hall, so you can spend all day in the area to immerse yourself in culture.
The Churchill Station is less than one block away, so you can take the train or bus to get there. If you decide to drive, park in one of the hundreds of parking spaces within a five-minute walk away. There is no restaurant in the venue, but it does have a bar from where you can pre-order intermission drinks.